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Funding presented for Dawson Springs trail

Improvements would connect city to Pennyrile State Resort Park

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) – Funding has been ceremoniously delivered for a project that would further link Dawson Springs, the state’s first “Trail Town,” to Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.

dawsonsprings“Coming home is always special,” Gov. Steve Beshear said of Dawson Springs, his hometown. “That’s especially true when we’re able to deliver on a commitment that will enable more people to learn why our Pennyrile Region is a special place and to experience what this area has to offer.”

Beshear presented a ceremonial check for $84,231 to represent funding through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for the first phase of a non-motorized, pedestrian-friendly route to connect Dawson Springs and nearby Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.

Mountain bike trails and recreational trails already connect the town and state resort park. But the new path, which when complete will run parallel to KY 109, will provide a safe and easy trail for people of all physical abilities.

“Dawson Springs and Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park already can boast of some of the most inviting and interesting trails and outdoor activities to be found anywhere,” Beshear said. “This project will help bridge a gap in accessibility, enhance the quality of life for residents and provide an even better experience for visitors.”

Dawson Springs was designated as Kentucky’s first “Trail Town” in 2013 because of its proximity to and association with several areas with outdoor attractions including Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, which has 863 acres full of trails for a variety of activities including hiking/walking, horseback riding and mountain biking.

“This funding will help even more people to experience the natural beauty of the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “Our goal is to provide a safe, accessible and healthy travel alternative to residents and visitors. Enhancing a community’s transportation choices also enhances the quality of life for its citizens.” 

TAP is a federally funded reimbursement program administered by the Office of Local Programs in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid. TAP assists communities in funding transportation improvements such as safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities, scenic routes, beautification and other investments. Local government can recoup up to 80 percent of the cost of the project. The City of Dawson Springs will put $21,058 of local funding into the trail system.

TAP projects support Gov. Beshear’s efforts to improve the health of all Kentuckians. The Governor launched kyhealthnow in February as an aggressive and wide-ranging initiative to reduce incidents and deaths from Kentucky’s dismal health rankings and habits. It builds on Kentucky’s successful implementation of health care reform and uses multiple strategies over the next several years to improve the state’s collective health.